The Complete Interview List
1 - Tell us how your project(s) were started.
In November 1989 Bob placed a flyer in some record stores on the East Side of Providence looking for people to form a band in the style of a list of a bunch of old Boston and European hardcore bands. Me and Lee saw this a decided to call this guy and see what was up. We got together and listened to music at his house, he gave me a tape of songs in the styles he'd like to play and I went home and figured out how to play them on guitar. At the time we decided Bob would play guitar and I would play Bass. About a month later we met Ben whow as to sing. The quest for a name and drummer dragged on through 1990, At various times I was playing iether bass or drums due to the fact we couldn't find a drummer, also I couldn't play drums so the guys told me we should keep looking for a drummer so I got switched back to bass a few times. Along the way we wrote about 8 songs and came up with the name "Hellocaust" and recorded a demo tape that got very minor circulation, only about 4 were given out or something but it caught the ear of Darryl from Citizen's Arrest (I think Lee the bass player around this time gave him a copy at a show) , I don't know about any one else but this gave me encouragement to keep the band idea going. Around Nov or Dec 1990 we had moved our practice space up to Bob's North Smithfield compound and were able to practice more than we could when we were in his father's garage. At some point Ben who was singing switched to guitar, Lee was playing Bass and I was playing Drums, that left vocals for Bob, so basically we had all switched instruments and brought in a new Bass player from out original plans. We started writing these shorter and faster songs with this line up, originally we were playing a style that was sort of like Terveet Kadet but sloppier, the new stuff was just playing really fast because it was fun and frankly for me anyway easier to keep together. Around this same time we took a band vote and changed the name to Dropdead. End of forming story.
2 - What does music, in it's entirety, mean to you?
Music is many things, at
it's core in technical terms it's math. The structure of what tones compromise
our scales are arbitrary to a point (how many notes per octave, but an octave
is a doubling or halving of the octave before that is logical mathimatically).
This side of music the purely technical side is something I know just a bit about and when I read something about how an A note at 440 is too high to play certain classical pieces with I think in a way people are missing the point, although maybe I am (missing the point) since classical is more about the math of music than anything else.
The factors that make music interesting to me is the attitude behind it. Music is expression at it's core, not counting the modern phenomena known as pop music which is prepackaged to make people buy it for some image. To me art and expression are hard to seperate, so even though a lot of punks are like "fuck art" I'm not. Give me screaming guitars and singers and pounding drums, or wailing sax or some random skittering piano, or to include what John Cage included in the category of music, a blast of feedback and white noise and I can process that in my head as being the sounds someone trying to express something.
Lifestyle ... I have personally lived a very low grade life style so I could focus on making music and travelling around playing music, so my lifestyle was more out of selfishness than anything else for lack of a better term.
I of course have bands I like and dislike but I won't get into that here.
What I dislike about various things I'll admit are sort of arbitrary sometimes. I don't like Double Bass drumming in hardcore, I like it in Death Metal however. Also fast drum beats that leave out part of the beat so it can be played faster (or the person's foot is just too slow) also piss me off. I don't like Robert Plants vocals at all, I like wailing vocals of different sorts but his are just so crap. I don't like jazz that is piano centered usually, sax based stuff is the best, the wilder the better. I'm trying to pick out elements of music I don't like but it's hard to pin down something I universally hate in all contexts.
3 - What does art, in it's entirety, mean to you?
I think the expression part
of what I said up there cover a lot of it but obviously there are differences
in mediums. Pottery for example at it's core should not be considered art in
and off itself sicne it was originally created for a function or possibly for
religious ceremony as well, but I'm sure the functional part came first. Actually
now that I am thinking about it I guess the same could be same for music ...
maybe pottery developed into an expressive form as a way of telling your god
here is a cup for whatever silly ceremonial reason we have today.
OK I don't want to carry on with that too long, I think all forms of art are currently polluted with people who think that art is cool and force themselves to create. They want to be seen as cool and creative for whatever reasons (looking for a place to fit in, trying to get laid, etc)
Anything I say above may be true for myself, just so I don't seem too high and mighty and judgemental by the way.
4 - Who is your favorite author, and why?
Hmm. Kurt Vonnegut maybe.
His stories are simple, he is not a great writer technically but I like his
ideas a lot.
I'd rather paint my own pictures in a way than have them sketched out all for me.
5 - As your best friend, describe yourself.
Brian is funny, a geek, obnoxious, annoying, honest, trustworthy. Brian is a pack rat, anything involving music or electronics are a potential next collecting phase for him. In a way his hobbiest define him. That Brian can cook a mean fucking Biryani! Brian isn't the guy to go to with your personal problems because he's not very empathetic.
6 - As your worst enemy, describe yourself.
Brian is a know-it-all asshole. Can he go more than 1 minute with interjecting a correction into a conversation? Shut the fuck up you ugly four eyed bastard!
7 - If your persona were immortalized as a cartoon character, who would it be?
I have absolutely no fucking idea how to even approach this question. Guy who collects videogames, computers and records man, I guess?
8 - Do you think there are
conspiracies against the "everyday person"?
I don't think in the way I am thinking of the word conspiracy there is. I think the plans of power hungry people are to boost themselves more than work against and repress other people, people are just something that have to be dealt with as well. Everything is theirs to use and exploit, no conspiracy there. Lying and pretending they are for the good of "the people" is just part of the game, you can't just say "I'm going to fuck you over" you have to pretend you aren't at all.
9 - What do you do with your spare or free time?
I mostly collect videogame
stuff these days. Right now my 2 main collecting things are the Vectrex console
and arcade games which I just got into recently. I also play guitar around my
house, I have 2 basses and 3 guitars to noodle on. I don't play guitar in any
bands. I play drums in another band called Straight to Hell as well. When I
feel like it I cook some food, and I mean cook not prepare because I am hungry.
Curries and stir fries are my typical fare but a nice soup is good too. Pasta
I am in love with Unix and old computers, real computers not Texas Instruments TI-99/4A stuff, big heavy machines from the '70s and before.
I've developed a bit of a drinking habit recently too. I mostly listen to old vinyl while sitting around on the computer as well.
10 - Please give us your interpretation of "the meaning of life".
There is no meaning of life.
The creation of the universe was chance and anything that happens doesn't mean
anything in the grand scheme of things.
This planet and all the injustices and problems the band I am in sing about are less than a grain of sand on a beach. But this life is all we have so I am trying to make something of it that isn't offensive to myself.